The night was going fine until I received a very disturbing text message and immediately found Billy Joe Hall, who is over the Delta officials for sporting events and asked, is it true? He confirmed that it was and I started to pray for one of my favorite coaches to ever cover and that is Lacy Wilson, former Drew High football and basketball coach.
Coach Wilson was also a referee and was working a game when he passed away.
This piece is not about records or championships, but about a man who brought out the very best in every player he coached.
When I think about Coach Wilson, I think about the 2011 season where he led a 16-12 team to the semifinals of the 1A State Basketball Tournament in Jackson.
That season was magical because it proved that you do not have to be the best X's and O's coach on the planet to guide a team, you just have to be the best person who pushes your team to be their very best.
That's what Coach Wilson did on and off the court and field. I loved to watch him fire his team up; I got a kick out of seeing this 60-plus year old running on and off the football field and walk up and down the sidelines of basketball games with the coolest walk in the state.
I remember in an interview with Wilson in 2011 I asked about his team and he said, "We are a good team that knows how to fight. You put us in a game, and you are going to have to play us until the last buzzer sounds."
I love that swagger and how it brushed off on his players.
I covered Wilson's basketball team's run in 2011 tighter than anyone, and I understood it was organized chaos on the court, but that's how he wanted it.
He wanted his players to be wild, aggressive and play extremely hard with a lot of intensity, yes, mistakes were going to happen, but they were having fun and Wilson was like a ring master in how he allowed them to be themselves while also keeping them under control.
I loved watching him call timeouts and let his players talk about what was going on and then he would give them some inspiring word and say, "Make it work."
To lose anyone is a hard thing, but when you lose someone who has impacted a community the way Coach Wilson has it's even tougher.
A military man for 38 years Coach Wilson was someone I admired. He served his country and his community as an alderman in the city of Drew.
The life he chose to lead isn’t surprising because he was a man of service. Being around sports was a calling for him and when he left us he did so doing something he loved.
R.I.P Coach Lacy and our prayers go out to you and your family.
Donell Maxie is a sports writer for The Bolivar Commercial. He can be reached at 843-4241 or e-mail him at email@example.com.